Strategies For Increasing Water Intake In Cats And Dogs

In the last blog we talked about the importance of water in the animals diet and what the qualities of water are. There are many conflicting statements about how much water and animal should get. The same holds true with human water consumption requirements. Some experts talk about requirements based on animal weight and a certain amount of water with a specific pound of body weight to ounce of water ratio. The animal generally knows when they need water and all that the caretaker needs to do is supply an easy to access water supply from a clean untreated water source. There is a plethora of water bowls and automatic feed water units on the market. The one thing to remember with water bowls is to clean them thoroughly every we fill the water bowl especially if several animals share the same water bowl. If your animal companion has a plentiful supply of fresh water available to them and they are still dehydrated then we can encourage them to drink more water by adding a flavoring agent to the water that tastes good to that particular animal. Organic, free range beef bullion cubes can be found in the health food store and we can add this to a separate water bowl beside the fresh water bowl and see if this will encourage the animal to drink more water. Fish emulsion or bonita flakes can be added to a cats water bowl to see if the cat will drink more water. We should make sure that at all times a separate bowl of fresh water is available. We can also prepare a vegetable or meat stock and put it in a separate bowl for the animal to consume. Find a flavor that your dog or cat likes and they will most likely drink more water. The signs of dehydration in animals are, scanty and dark urine, constipation, straining while defecating, dry skin, dry nose, dry foot pads, over breathing to cool down the body, loss of skin elasticity, lethargy, depression, sunken eyes, dry gums and a general lack of energy. We need to remember that with dehydration there generally is a shortage of electrolytes in the fluids of the body. If the animal is dehydrated we can add a little pinch of natural sea salt to the water to build the electrolyte balance back up. If the animal gets severely dehydrated hyperthermia will set in and this can lead to shock. Dehydration is can be a dangerous condition for an animal. Anyone living in a hot climate will need to monitor there companions water intake during the dry hot months. I see a lot of people out on the hiking trails where I live with their dogs and they often fail to bring a water bottle for the dog. Just as we need water while we are sweating and using our body so do animals.